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More On My Vision For The Ohio District

Beloved in Christ,

In the event that I should be elected as President of the Ohio District there are some things I would work to change. Above all that our pastors and congregations should re-discover what their respective work is.

The pastor's work is to lead the baptized in worship. That is his "job description." When you see the pastor in the chancel giving voice to God's Word, absolving sins, teaching the gospel, consecrating the elements, and distributing the Body and Blood of Christ to God's people – he is performing the work God Called him to do.

Likewise congregations could benefit by again remembering what the work of the baptized is. Namely, to "worship God!" (Revelation 19:10). This is not accomplished by programs, but by the baptized assembled in Holy Communion with their Lord. It is here that worship occurs; that “evangelism” takes place; and that the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is proclaimed most perfectly.

To whom?

To the baptized? Yes, for they too desire to hear it. To the inquirer, visitor, or Prodigal returned? Without doubt for they too need to hear it. To the angels and archangels? Most assuredly, for they too rejoice to hear it. But to more besides because it is here, in holy worship, that the church "wrestles" against principalities, powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12) Here that the church again proclaims Christ’s definitive and everlasting victory over sin, death and Satan. Here that the church "reigns with Christ in endless Day." ("Lord Dismiss Us With Your Blessing" LSB #924)

And so there is nothing ordinary about leading or being God's people in worship. Let us us, then, break free from our former expectations if we can. For neither pastors nor members can manufacture members, fill the pews, save the church, or save the world. Instead let us do the one thing that God has given us to do. “This do in remembrance of me." (Luke 22:19) Let us "Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to us." (Matt. 6:33)

Should I be elected district president it is my intention to do what I can to restore this understanding of church and ministry to our parishes. How would I carry this out? As God strengthens me I will call upon the many gifted teachers we have in our District and Synod; and provide theological seminars throughout our district: for pastors and laity alike. These will be holy convocations, held to the glory of God, hemmed in by worship and prayer: so that our faith might never depend on the wisdom of men, but only on the power of God. (Corinthians 1 2:5)

Fiat voluntas tua!

Chief Of Sinners
Rev. Dean Kavouras, Pastor
Christ Lutheran Church
Cleveland, Ohio
May 19, 2018

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